tv The Cycle MSNBC August 29, 2014 12:00pm-1:01pm PDT
but it's okay. america's grilling up a post-recession record. that one's for you, josh. game on. college football is back, and so is our buddy jordan. and take a seat because josh has the barr-o-meter on america's latest airline crisis. we begin with politics because it is taking no vacation during these waning weeks of summer. good afternoon. i'm krystal ball. as we come on the air today, british prime minister david cameron is issuing a dire warning about the global reach of isis. he raised the u.k.'s terror level threat to severe, just about as bad as it gets. >> what we're facing in iraq now with isil is a greater and deeper threat to our security than we have known before. we will always take whatever action is necessary to keep the british people safe here at home. >> it's a sharp contrast from the tone that we heard from president obama in the briefing room about this time yesterday. >> what i've seen in some of the news reports suggests that folks
are getting a little further ahead of where we're at than we currently are. >> and today the white house refused to attach a specific threat level to what we are seeing from isis. remember, we got rid of that system six years ago. but press secretary josh earnest did try to clarify the president's somewhat vague remarks about how exactly we plan to deal with isis, whatever that threat may be. >> president's already demonstrated, a, a willingness to order military action and strikes in iraq. those were part of a thought-through strategy in terms of trying to safeguard american citizens who are in iraq. and the president is -- wants to be similarly rigorous as we think through other aspects of our strategy that could include military action. >> buzzfeed's washington bureau chief john stanton is working into the holiday weekend for us. how's it going? >> good. >> so let's start with the president's comment about strategy to deal with isis in
syria in particular. i mean, there was immediate cleanup from his aides, continuing cleanup this morning, as you saw from josh earnest. what do you make of these comments? are people making too much of a big deal about this? or is it really emblematic of a president who's been reluctant to really move without taking all necessary precautions? >> i think it's a little bit of both, frankly. i think the problem that they're facing with isis right now is that it's not -- there's no real clear way to address this problem. you know, just having bombings and things like that are from the going to end this. having boots on the ground is a very difficult lift. they're going to probably need congressional support for that. that's at least another ten days away at an absolute minimum. having a strategy right now is really difficult. the problem, though, is also why come out and say it, is sort of the big question. as opposed to saying, we're reviewing everything, taking preliminary steps, looking at a longer term strategy instead of
saying we don't have one right now. it's embltheemblematic of a pro this administration has had. it has this inability to really go out and look forceful and on top of these issues. they always sort of come off as reactionary, which is a bit of a problem. >> and john, i'm sure you had the same experience i did, but after the presidential press conference yesterday, i talked to some dem aides on the hill. they said another enforced error, a collective groan was let out. now their guys are going to be attached to a president who has no clear strategy for going after isis. another unforced error that plays into this culture of incompetence that seems to be chasing them around recently. it's reflected in the polling. where do you see this in terms of the lens of 2014 and in the midterms? how much of an effect will this have? it also makes it so much harder for folks on the hill to defend the white house moving forward. >> yeah, i think particularly in any races, senate races and a
handful of house races where foreign policy is a big issue, this will probably be a big part of it. like having this out there, having other problems they've had on foreign policy s sort of how they handled the issue with gaza recently, these are all going to come together to be a bit of a death by 1,000 cuts on this issue. and democrats definitely don't need that right now. they're already having problems with immigration in some districts. they're having problems with, you know, just in general their numbers aren't looking that good. it's a down year for them. and they don't need the white house coming in and sort of stepping on their own message at a bad time. so, yes, i think it's going to have an impact on the election. >> john, one of the things the president said yesterday is folks are getting out a little further ahead than where we are on syria. what was strange about that to me is the reason the media was getting ahead was because of signals being sent from within the administration indicating the administration was looking seriously at attacks inside syria. it sort of seems like there's a disconnect internally.
obama administration, if anything, this is a more insular administration than normal. chuck hagel at defense and kerry at state are close associates of the president's from senate. if he didn't want to, you know, rattle the saber around syria, why couldn't he send that message on monday internally instead of having to come out and slap them back publicly on thursday? >> it is a little striking to have the president have to come out himself and do that when two of his top people have definitely raised sort of the concern about isis and the situation in syria in general. and his folks have been out there saying on background and talking to people, trying to test the waters on whether or not people will be okay with much broader sort of action there. and maybe they decided that the people weren't there yet. maybe they felt that it had gotten too far ahead of them. but having the president himself do it looks odd. it happens while he's on vacation. he comes back to washington,
says this. it's different from what his aides say. it feeds into this broader opinion that people have at white house that he's out of touch a little bit with people around him even, except for those absolutely close to him. >> and to josh's point, you have martin dempsey, chuck hagel saying you have to deal with syria to defeat isis. you also have the brightest folks this field saying the very same thing. it puts the president in a pretty vulnerable position. let's say come a year from now if the situation gets worse, they're all going to say, i told you so. sort of what we're seeing now a year later after the president didn't act in syria last summer. >> well, right. or let's say there's an attack on a u.s. installation some place in the middle east or maybe here at home or something like that in the next couple months or year. it is definitely going to come back to haunt him. i think this indecision they've had doesn't -- it doesn't look it. maybe behind the scenes this isn't going on. but it doesn't do much to reinforces public's confidence in him, and more importantly the
folks in the region who we're trying to work with and rally, saying we have to have this multinational effort to combat this. if he's not able to at least put on a display of confidence and unity within his own government, it makes it more difficult to rally those folks. >> yeah, i mean, it just fed right into their talking point, which is i think what's so frustrating for a lot of his allies. john, as you know, josh earnest also had to do a bit of cleanup on another important topic. let's take a look at that. >> one aspect of the president's news conference yesterday that attracted some attention. so i thought i might go over at least one aspect of that argument. and it's specifically this. the president stands squarely behind the decision that he made yesterday to wear his summer suit at yesterday's news conference. >> john, what did you think? was it a fashion no-no? >> i don't -- no, i did -- [ laughter ] >> are you going to defend the
suit? >> have you ever not worn the black tie with the black jacket? >> no, never. i always do dress like a mortician. >> if everyone was just like john stanton, wore the same thing every day, you wouldn't have the problem. >> i like the the suit. >> i did not like the suit visually. what i did like about the suit is it is refreshing as a woman to have a man face the same sort of appearance scrutiny that women face all the time in this realm. >> i thought it was refreshing that for at least one time josh earnest was actually forthcoming and open about something. >> ouch. >> oh, that's what we call a burn. >> that is a hot burn on this summer weekend. john stanton, thank you as always. from the politics to the actual threat posed by isis, and the one woman terrorist around the world are willing to swap anything or anything for. plus, the latest on legendary comedian joan rivers' condition in a new york hospital as "the
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cycling right now, russian president vladimir putin is accusing ukraine and using peace talks as a smoke screen. meantime, nato claimed to have images showing russian troops on the ground in eastern ukraine. the ukrainians claim they're open to a truce with russia, but only if that cease-fire is backed by both sides. time is running critically short for four americans believed to be held captive by isis as the debate is raging on
about how to save them. including swapping one serious terrorist in particular to bring them home. she is a pakistani woman less affectionately known as lady al qaeda. reports say the taliban offered to swap bowe bergdahl for her release. isis said they would release james foley in exchange. they later beheaded mr. foley. lady al qaeda is serving 86 years in a texas prison. she was convicted of plotting the murder of americans in afghanistan, caught with poison and instructions on creating dirty bombs and releasing ebola. but as you might expect by now, she's not our only threat. an exclusive report by foreign policy, which also reported on her, exposes the contents of an isis laptop found in syria that contains detailed instructions, 19 pages worth, on deploying the bubonic plague for buy lodiolog
warfare. shane harris wrote specifically about lady al qaeda and the prisoner swap debate. there are two sides of this debate. one saying, look, you never negotiate with terrorists. you never make the swap because that makes it more likely for americans to be kidnapped in the future. the other side of this is saying, look, you do everything in your power to bring an american back home. both very strong, very powerful arguments. which one is the right one? >> that's ultimately a decision for the president to make. there are two very emotional sides to this as well. obviously the family members, i think, want to see their loved ones come back. the administration right now is denying any reports that it had ever considered trading her. they see that as a concession. but there are elements within the defense department. my reporting has told me as well as on capitol hill that want the administration to at least consider the possibility of trading this woman, who many people believe actually is not as dangerous as she's been made out to be. in fact, may not even be physically capable of carrying out some of these attacks. so ultimately, this decision on whether or not to make that kind of a swap is something that has
to be done at a very senior level. and for right now, the administration has drawn a line at trading her because she is a prisoner and aligned with al qaeda. >> makes you wonder why they want her so bad i did. >> yeah, i mean, what's strange about this to me is we have this long tradition of exchanges of prisoners of war. and that's sort of what ended up happening in the bowe bergdahl case. this is a woman who was a criminal defendant, convicted in a civilian court, and held in prison in the united states. seems to me like sending her back would be a precedent. and would be a very unusual thing that ends up looking almost tantamount to paying a ransom for a prisoner. why would we even consider doing that? >> that's exactly how the administration sees it. you've drawn the distinction exactly as they do, which is the taliban prisoners we released frve sergeant bergdahl, that was done as a prisoner of war exchange. people in the pentagon who i've talked to about this point out that she has come up again and again whether it's isis or the taliban as this individual who they want to see negotiated with
as a bargaining chip, really. so the argument is why not at least keep the dialogue open and the possibility on the table of trading her. politically, it is a very unpalatable thing to do. the president might have to pardon her. you might have to commute her sentence. this is different than a prisoner at guantanamo for all those reasons she's in the criminal justice system. but people who are advocating for pushing her out there as a bargaining chip are saying, you know, we did after all thad treez five taliban who rur own intelligence told us were likely to go back and join the battlefield. are they potentially more dangerous than she is? so really, you're talking about political optics here being really what's weighing against, i think, any talk of releasing her. >> shane, i'm a little perplexed as to why we're even having a conversation about trading a terrorist for a journalist or aid worker. i understand the idea of leaving no military personnel behind. but what precedent is there to trade a terrorist for an aid worker or journal itseist who a
difficult circumstances, but there voluntarily on their own accord. >> yeah, i don't think there is a press debit for that. people who have been advocating considering her will point out a couple things. one, she was never tried on terrorism. she was accused of being a terrorist, but she was ultimately tried for attempted murder charges stemming from a separate incident. but many people feel that she is physically incapable of actually doing any harm. some people have actually pointed to psychiatric revaluations that showed she was perhaps mentally unstable. i think there are people who are sort of fundamentally questioning whether or not she is this dangerous terrorist and whether or not she's been hyped up to be more than that. in pakistan, she really is an iconic figure. she's quite famous, and people believe that she was framed by the united states. there's a theory that she was in u.s. custody for five years and tortured, which is something the u.s. denies. so this whole question of
whether she is really this most-wanted, most dangerous terrorist she's been made out to be, that's kind of underneath some of the arguments for at least considering possibly trading her. >> shane, tell us a little bit more of her story, kind of her background. because she was a u.s.-trained scientist. there wasn't a lot in her background to indicate she would go in this direction. what caused her to become radicalized? >> that's still something of a mystery. it's a really strange story. she was born in pakistan, lived in the united states for more than ten years. she married here, studied, had a family. she was known as a devout muslim, but no one ever thought she was becoming radicalized. people who know her don't speak of her that way. something happened in this period where she went back to pakistan after the 9/11 attacks, people who know her say that she wanted to go back and raise children there. there's this period to make it even more confusing from 2003 to 2008, her whereabouts are essentially unknown by the pakistanis and by u.s.
intelligence. some people believe that she became radicalized during that period. some people believe that she was imprisoned. she really is a mystery. it's strange to me in reporting this why isis and the taliban are holding her up as some kind of ally when this is a woman who's lived in the west. she's divorced her first husband. she's not exactly the model of, i think, of the muslim woman that groups like isis and other fundamentalists are holding up. so it's a very odd person for them to latch on to. i think it's more that she's a potent political symbol rather than they really perceive her as any operational ally. >> interesting. shane, tell us more about the isis laptop that was found in syria that had the detailed instructions on deploying the bubonic plague for biological warfare. tell us more about what this is all about. >> yeah, this is really quite troubling. two of our correspondents overseas managed to make contact with a source who provided them a laptop that used to be in the custody of an isis fighter who we identified in the story as
mohammed s. he appears to have been a tunisian university student at one time. among the more than 128 gigabytes of information on this computer kept in hidden files, actually, are instructions on how to weaponize the bubonic plague. there are other things about how to build bombs. there are speeches from osama bin laden. there's a religious edict about the morality of using weapons of mass destruction. and what it appears is that at least this one isis member was attempting to learn how to build these deadly weapons and also how to evade capture. and it's really a fascinating and i think unprecedented insight into the inner workings of isis' ambitions when it comes to weapons of mass destruction. >> pretty frightening stuff. shane harris, thank you so much for being with us. >> you bet. all right. it's been a busy week and a very busy news summer. but labor day weekend is finally here. we've got travel, weather, everything you need to know to make it a very good one. stick with us. when folks think about what they get from alaska, they think salmon and energy.
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hello there. we're back in the storm cycle. we are heading right on into the labor day holiday weekend. conditions are improving along the west coast and the east coast just in time for the labor day weekend. we have post tropical storm maria continuing to push off to the west-northwest in the eastern pacific basin. conditions will continue to improve over the next day or so, especially off the coast of southern california where we saw massive waves earlier in the week. four to eight-foot waves expected through this friday. rip currents still a threat, but conditions will continue to look a whole lot better for beach goers along the coast of california into saturday. an area of concern through at least early saturday is the upper midwest and also portions of the western and central gulf coast. we have a feature in the upper midwest bringing some heavy downpours where flash flooding is possible. anywhere from eastern nebraska through central iowa, including portions of wisconsin. that corridor could easily pick up one to two-plus inches of rainfall, two to three-plus inches of rain likely as we head
into the weekend over sections of louisiana and texas. in the northeast, things are looking pretty nice. beautiful today. lots of sunshine in new york city and boston. now, post tropical storm continuing to stay well off to the east. however, there is a pretty high risk of rough surf and rip currents along the new england coast. beach goers should watch out there. we expect to see nice weather across the northeast on saturday. it will warm up and get a lot human, especially sunday into labor day, monday. chicago will see the thunderstorms on saturday. here is a look at the thunderstorms pushing into the northeast on sunday and even labor day monday. not everyone will get wet. these thunderstorms will be hit or miss and certainly not a wash out. krystal, back to you. >> all right. thank you so much for that report. sounds like there will be at least some bright spots for the 35 million people who are expected to hit the road this holiday weekend. i will be one of them. according to aaa, that number is a post-recession high. so does that mean that it is too
late to scope out a last-minute deal? it's never too late, according to travel and leisure's senior editor, who joins us now. jackie, thank you for being at the table. >> thanks for having me. >> let's talk about that big number. post-recession high. what is causing so many people to hit the roads this weekend, other than just having a great long weekend? >> right. well, it's the end of summer. people want to take these last-minute trips with their kids before school starts. this is really encouraging. it's a great sign for the economy. 34.7 million americans are going to be on the road. >> oh, my gosh. sounds like a nightmare. >> and krystal is driving to ohio after the show. >> it'll only take like 12 hours. >> it's going to be great. >> you're one of the 86% that are going to be in a car. and 8% are going to be flying. so this is actually a 1.3% increase from last year. and this is actually -- you can really attribute it to, again, economic growth but also gas prices are lower. this is their lowest since 2010. so this is wonderful news for the travel industry. >> i'm staying right here at
home. i'm avoiding travel at all cost. but i think i'm in trouble because new york city is probably one of the top destinations for labor day weekend. i'm assuming new york city along with a few other big cities, right? >> it is, actually, according to travelocity. we talked to them to get the survey of where people are traveling. it's actually to mostly major cities, including new york, las vegas, san francisco, los angeles, denver, and seattle. people are really -- they want to explore the major cities. one destination, which is really interesting, if you look back to july 4th, orlando was number three. actually, this weekend it's number 12. so if you want to get down to orlando, maybe this is the time to do it. two new hotels have just opened there. a four seasons, and the b hotel. >> and mickey mouse appears at all of them. if you were too busy watching "the cycle" this week and forgot to book your labor day weekend plans, there's still time. there's a lot of great
last-minute deals. one city in particular that jumped out to me, charleston, south carolina. i'll put on my charleston, south carolina, chamber of commerce hat right now. best beaches, best food, best people. go to charleston if you get a great last-minute deal here. enjoy a steak. everything is great in charleston. the prices, i love it. oh, my god. i could go on and on. what else could we look at for a good last-minute deal? >> well, we talked to the folks at expedia. they shared with us some last-minute deals, one of which is palm springs, california. hotel prices are 12% lower than they were last year. there's a really cool new hotel there we love. the spar rrows. very chic, very affordable. of course, charleston. that's a hugely popular with our readers. their prices are down 10% compared to last year. >> i actually spent labor day weekend in palm springs last year. you know what i learned?
it's really hot in palm springs. i think we pulled the forecast. it's going to be 109 degrees tomorrow in palm springs. so are people going to enjoy the extreme heat? or is that why hotel rates are down 12%? >> it's an offseason time for them. definitely make sure that you spend some time in the air-conditioning. but at the same time, you can stay at some wonderful luxury properties at a discount. so and really get a chance to experience the destination. >> we should be asking you that question, josh, since you're the one who went there. >> why did you go? >> i had to buy flip-flops because i literally burned my feet on the pool deck. it's the desert in august. but you're right. it was a quiet time. i stayed at a hotel that would have been twice as expensive if i had gone in the winter. it's the ace hotel, this chic hotel for douchy people from hollywood. >> whoa, whoa, whoa. >> it was a good time. >> pulling out all the stops. >> jackie, i got a general question here. i consider myself a traveler. i found myself in recent years
being a little bit more influenced by the trip adviser and yelp than i'd like to be. are people putting too much faith in interwebs as opposed to calling up their friends who have traveled to those cities? >> i think people look to many resources. they're going to trip adviser. they're reading our magazine. they're watching "the cycle." they're talking to friends. people get their information from instagram. i've known friends to actually book hotels based on photos they seen on instagram. >> whoa. >> it's crazy. this is the world we live in. social media has really, obviously, is a tremendous power within the travel space. so i think there's multiple ways you can decide on where you want to stay. >> i was just on instagram and saw one of my friends traveling somewhere and it looked beautiful. i'm like, i'll have to check it out. >> buffalo wings from buffalo today. help out the city. >> i'll instagram the traffic on the highways of new york. jackie, thank you so much. before you take off this weekend, josh barro is going to tackle the question enraging the friendly skies, to recline or
not to recline? of course, we'll make you wait a little bit for that one. that's called a tease, people. but up next, car wars. allegations of spy craft, sabotage, even a potential mole in the battle for car service supremacy between uber and lift. buckle up, people. there's much more "cycle" ahead. ♪ [music]
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you've probably heard about the fights between uber and the taxi industry, but now uber is fighting with another startup. both let you call a ride by pushing a button on your smartphone. lift says uber is sabotaging its business by having employees call and cancel rides on lift. over 3500 of them since last october. uber says the claims are
patently false and leaked documents suggest uber may be up to something more interesting than straight-up sabotage. they're calling rides to its employees can get inside lift cars and recruit drivers to defect to uber. so says an uber rep. my "new york times" colleague neil irwin has been writing about the uber/lift fight for the upshot. neil, what is uber up to here? is it ethical? >> you know, what they're doing is trying to score more drivers. there's a theory that the more drivers you have, the more effective you can be in this new emerging space of car services on demand. so they want more drivers, and they want to poach lift's drivers. so you order a ride, have your brand ambassador, they call them, riding in the lift car. you strike up a conversation with the driver and see, you know, are you happy? might want to come and drive for us instead? now, is that ethical? i think it's, you know, more ethical than people think. this is an example of trying to compete for workers, which is ultimately good if you're the
driver. you want people competing for your services. >> neil, i think it's actually a brilliant strategy of uber employees who book a ride with lift and convince them to come on board. i don't see that being any different than what any other industry does to recruit people where you invite someone out for a drink and convince them to get another job with them. we all do that. i don't see what the question is here with it being unethical. >> well, where it is more problematic is where they end up ordering a car and cancelling it last minute when they see it's a driver maybe they've already tried to poach or haven't had much luck with. so then the driver has to go out of his way, and it ends up costing them money. that's where it is problematic. i think your point is absolutely right. think about from the other point of view. if they did the opposite, if lift and uber's executives got together and made a secret deal that we're not going to compete for drivers and stay away from each other's territory, that would be way more problematic. that would be an anti-trust problem. much more offensive. >> sure, but i question your assumption that this is actually good for the drivers.
because we're not talking about, like, bidding up wages here. their idea is to have as many drivers as possible, so there's always somebody right by for the customer. these are not employees, these drivers. they're independent contractors. they're not guaranteed anything in terms of the number of rides that they're able to give. so if you have way more drivers, that means they're going to get less business for each of these independent contractors, doesn't it? >> ultimately, drivers are going to vote with their feet. what they want is the service that will allow them to make the most money. that means there will be more rides, more people ordering those rides. they'll get paid more for them. that's how this competition is going to shake out between lift and uber and other services in other cities. they want you go to them first. so what these companies really are is market makers. they're trying to connect the consumer who wants a ride and the drivers who want a small business and want to make money and keeping both sides happy is a real challenge. >> the other problem here, neil, and this is a bigger trend and
part of why the quote/unquote sharing economy is so successful now, is you have so many people who can't find regular full-time work. it's not like they want to be entrepreneurs. that's not all of them. some of them like the flexibility and all of that. others are -- would love to have a full-time job, would love to have more predictability and places like uber and lift, there's something for them, but they're not going to give them that kind of stability. >> yeah, that's absolutely true. you know, i think we may see as the economy gets a little better, as the job market getting stronger, workers may have more leverage to demand a full-time job. but this is totally not in that world of having a predictable hours and you get a salary, benefits. this is very much go out on your own. it's buy a car, you know, get an uber relationship or lift and try and make some money. that leaves you vulnerable to a lot of things. if business slumps, if you crash your car, if you have a health problem, there's a lot on your shoulders if you're doing that
that's not the case if you have a normal employer/employee relationship. >> neil, as being a resident of washington, d.c., i've been fascinated to see the degree to which uber has really tried to garner political clout within the nation's capital. they're more than up front about lobbying the hill and really making a point that they're about free enterprise and the market working out the way it should. and they found some very powerful bedfellows. the rnc almost pushing forward a petition on behalf of uber. don't allow corrupt state governments to crackdown on uber, specifically in illinois. you've also seen people as powerful as marco rubio, 2016 darling, trying to unite with uber. talk about the political power that uber seems to be usurping in washington, d.c. >> it's true. they've developed a real following among conservatives, libertarian-leaning politicians and thinkers who think they're a
great example of busting through regulatory barriers that have stood in the way of innovation. the thing is, most of the battles that matter are at the state and local level. most of their battles happen in state capitals and city counc s councils. that's true arounded world. they're all over the world right now. doing battle with taxi lobbies, it's hand-to-hand combat. and they're winning those over time, but it's slow and it's a real battle. it really pits these entrenched tax interests in every city against a startup that's popular with consumers. >> anything to blow up the d.c. cab cartel is the most important thing. the most corruption organization in america. >> so uber is the early mark leader. seems like they've been really aggressive in any of these markets. here in new york city, uber is now cheaper than a taxi in new york. it sort of seems like their strategy is to kill lift before it can get a foothold and be the dominant monopoly player in the ride sharing business.
can that strategy work? >> you know, i'm skeptical that this will be a business that's a win or take all business. you can argue it's kind of like a stock exchange where there's network effects, meaning you want to use this service that has the most cars available. that'll be better for everybody, which would make it a monopoly kind of like google is. there's an argument it's more like travel services, that you would book a plane ticket online. you're just going to go wherever the best price it and it'll be a brutal competition. it's going to be a fascinating next few years. >> very interesting. neil irwin, thanks so much. from the roads to the skies, you're looking at live pictures of the detroit airport. bet there are more than a few folks there waiting for takeoff. still ahead, i'll respond to an onslaught of reaction to a post i wrote about the knee defender. college football is back too. we'll tackle that next. see what i did? sfx: sounds of marching band and crowd cheering sfx: sounds of marching band and crowd cheering so, i'm walking down the street, sfx: sounds of marching band and crowd cheering just you know walking,
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who would have thought masterthree cheese lasagna would go with chocolate cake and ceviche? the same guy who thought that small caps and bond funds would go with a merging markets. it's a masterpiece. thanks. clearly you are type e. you made it phil. welcome home. now what's our strategy with the fondue? diversifying your portfolio? e*trade gives you the tools and resources to get it right. are you type e*? cycling right now, the family of legendary comedian joan rivers says she's receiving the best care possible at the new york city hospital she was rushed to thursday morning. she stopped breathing during throat surgery. daughter melissa and other family members are by her side and thanks well wishers for their words of support. now let's turn to nascar, where tony stewart spoke publicly this afternoon for the first time since he is struck and killed fellow racer kevin ward jr. in a race on august 9th.
>> this has been one of the toughest tragedies i've ever had to deal with, both professionally and personally. and this is something that will definitely affect my life forever. this is a sadness and a pain that i hope no one ever has to experience in their life. >> stewart didn't take any questions, saying he will leave those up to investigators. stewart returns to nascar's sprint cup series this weekend for the first time since that horrific accident. all right. now to something more fun. the annual event in american sports that is the 2014 college football season kicked off last night. we already have our first top ten upset. number 21 texas a&m routed them on the new s.e.c. network. but have no fear, gamecock fans, your team has a chance to play for the championships. why? because we have the playoffs. four teams will vie for the chance to play in the championship game, meaning one loss no longer dooms a team's chances. but there is a lot of downs
between now and then. sports columnist for "the huffington post" and friend of the show jordan schultz joins us now to talk a little bit about college football and what to expect this season. first and foremost, ladies and gentlemen, there is a lot of questions about whether texas a&m can replace john myjohnny m. how great did he look? i think he'll have a better college career than johnny manziel. it's ambitious. but i want to talk to you about the playoffs. this is the first year that we're no longer going to go by this horrifically terrible formula known as the bcs, which caused a lot of controversy about who the top two teams were in college football. now there's going to be a playoff of the top four teams using a selection committee. surely will create a lot of debate going forward. this, i would say, is the first step to making college football at least in terms of determining the national champion a little
bit more democratic, a little bit more fair, and will make the season a lot more exciting. one last point before you answer that, jordan. these idiots could make more money if they had an eight-team playoff or six-team playoff but they won't do it because of the rose bowl. i'll do a rant about that some day. >> i love the rose bowl as much as anybody. this is a huge step in the right direction. the bcs had a lot of faults, namely the fact a lot of people believe that -- well, two things. if you were not a power five school, you were totally screwed out of the picture. teams like utah having undefeated seasons, not getting the chance to play. sometimes the two best teams in the game weren't actually the two best teams in the country. this happened so many times. now you have four teams, 13 voters, including one of my favorite people in the world, archie manning. i think this will create a more fair playoff. we'll have to see if those
smaller schools get more opportunity. right now, unprecedented amount of excitement. >> besides this big change, what else are you looking for this season? >> jameis winston, will he become the first to repeat since 40 years ago? i think the number one pick in this year's draft. probably the best quarterback to come around in the past 25 years, including andrew luck, the number one pick a couple years ago. then also, quarterbacks in general, oregon's marcus mariota. you can have for the first time ever quarterbacks one, two, three. that would be really special to happen in the draft. >> let's talk about usc. that's sort of been all the buzz lately. the coach, it's his first year. sounds like -- >> what a mess. >> -- a total nightmare for him. you have the captain of the story suspended for a horrific story. another player claiming coach is racist. he put this on instagram. couldn't play for a racist man. treated me like a slave in his
office. the players, though, are rallying behind the coach. one wrote, coach is a great person and coach. please disregard comments that have been made by someone. what a mess. >> he deleted those, woods he d. if you look at the usc situation, sarkisian comes in one of the best programs in the country and before they play a game, two massive distractions, shaw went from being a hero to now there's a criminal -- >> robbery. >> criminal investigation with two police departments say they are going to arrest him for criminal -- usc very dysfunctional situation right now. >> is that going to impact the game? >> they open against fresno state and it's not michigan for example, but it is -- i think usc went from being a dark horse national title contender to now i don't know what's going to happen. it's a total mess. >> ucla is the team this year.
>> so jordan, another football story but not college football, the nfl out with new guidelines on domestic violence. that of course in the wake of pray rice, that horrific video that we all saw of his fiancee falling out an elevator unconscious aeldly because of ray rice causing her to be unconscious domestic violence there and suspended for only two games. a lot of criticism there. so commissioner goodell is out with the new policy, for first offense, six game suspension, second offense, lifetime ban. you can appeal for reinstatement after a year. my question is, does this actually change anything? the bottom line is still the commissioner can do whatever the commission wants to do. >> i think it's a big step in the right direction. i was really critical of roger goodell forgiving ray rice just two games and give josh gordon four games for violating the
substance abuse policy was insane. a lifetime ban i would love to see after the first event or at least entire season. i would take it a step further but this is a big move for the nfl, you've seen other leagues take similar action and have success with it. >> it was something roger goodell had to do, the criticism was widespread but jordan, talk about how unique it is for the nfl ever to admit fault to this day, they have not admitted fault regarding concussions, it's quite rare? >> you mean the no fun league? this happens with the nfl, we talk about major league baseball being the past time of america, the nfl -- and big reason why, they can get away with making the same mistakes over and over again. no matter what, we as american public keep watching, number one sport followed by college football. i've got to tell you, from an nfl perspective, big move in the right direction but had they not
done this, ratings would have been sky high but roger g goodell, the most important movimove he's made. >> up next, hitting passenger against passenger, josh barro fights for the right to recline. you don't want to miss that. mike mud started to see more and more paddleboarders in his hometown. he opened stand on liquid, a paddleboard retailer and manufacturer and hasn't had a down year since. if i can impart one lesson to a new business owner, it would be one thing i've learned is
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miami to paris was diverted to boston due to another passenger dispute over seat recline ig. french passenger was kicked off the flight after he got mad that the woman in front of him put her seat back. this came after a story you probably saw. on sunday a united flight made an emergency landing in chicago to boot off two passengers who were fighting over the use of the knee defender. that's a device that stops the seat in front of you from leaning back. a flight attendant told the passenger to remove the device. he refused so the woman in front of him threw water at him. this issue is taken america by storm. i thought it would make for a good late august item, it became my most read over, with 2400 comments, hotly debating the question of whether it's okay to recline. i want to be clear, this is a question with a right answer and
a wrong answer. you are entitled to recline your seat. that's why they put a but on in the arm rest and pilot makes an announcement telling you which parts of the flights you may and may not recline during. if you install a knee defender on your seat, you're stealing that option. a lot of people don't understand this. readers wrote i was a monster and gawkers hamilton nolan wrote that recliners like me are selfish antisocial mondsters wil would die friendless and alone. if i'm sitting in front of him and his delicate constitution is so threatened by my seat back, he can buy my recline right away from me. i would probably charge him $50, another one of those fees in
vogue now on airplanes. nolan was not moved by this offer. they feel like they are entitled to sit behind an upright seat and insulted when you suggest they pay for that right. that talk me this story is much more than airplanes, property rights and rule of plau, two of the institutions that keep our countries civilized. when i know courts and norms will protect my property, we don't need to fight. when that system breaks down when passengers in 11 c and 12 c are convinced they own the right to put seat back, that's when water gets thrown in somebody's face. the airlines can bring the rule of law back to the air. when they enjoy the flight, that means lean your seat back if you please, the person behind you be damned. that does it for "the cycle."
"now" with alex wagner starts right now. >> no strategy or no good options, it is friday, august 29th, this is "now". >> poisonous ideology of islamist extremism -- >> president obama facing criticism. >> because he said the words we don't have a strategy. >> that's the quote the white house is trying to clean up. >> to think that barack obama and everybody else around him had not been thinking and obsessing 24 hours a day is outrageous, they have. >> what we're facing with isil is a greater and deeper threat to our security than we have known before. >> the terror threat in the united kingdom was increased to the highest level since 2009. >> inside iraq on a tactical level -- >> the president does not like the options when it comes to syria. >> the president is being commendably cautious about being involved in the middle of a